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The following reply was made to PR port-i386/52404; it has been noted by GNATS.
From: Robert Elz <kre%munnari.OZ.AU@localhost>
Subject: Re: port-i386/52404
Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 16:45:49 +0700
Unfortunately a loti of things can touch user mailboxes - looking to be
able to say "you have mail" is a common feature long running interactive
processes tend to like to support - essentially all shells can do this
for example, so can gkrellm (and probably a whole bunch of other
similar monitoring programs, desktop environments, and similar - for all
I know, emacs might do it as well, it does everything else possible on
I doubt that postfix is related, nor the mail reading programs (though
they are not impossible - something like thunderbird is probably
constantly monitoring so it can announce when new mail is available,
other long running mail programs (user agents) may be similar).
None of these (except mail delivery, and actually accessing mail to
read/reply/delete etc) should cause the mailbox to be altered in any
way at all - but bugs in any of them could do just about anything.
What you probably need to do for this, is monitor the mailboxes looking
for when one changes (it is certainly not ls that is incorrect here, if ls
says the mod time is 1 Jan 1970 (ie: (time_t)0) then that is what it has
been set to - by something.
When you see a mailbox has changed, look and see what processes the
user who owns that mailbox, and what root owned processes are running.
Keep doing that for a while, and when you have enough data, look for what
is common (and might be something which could be looking at users' mailboxes)
When you have a suspect, use that yourself and see if your mailbox gets
affected. If you can find which process is likely doing this, let us know,
and we might be able to work out why - but without knowing what is running
on your system that might be poking at mailboxes, and doing things to them,
there is little else we can do - neither the filesystems, nor ls, randonly
change the times of files.
ps: it would also be useful to see the output of
mount | grep mail
the output from df is kind of useful, but does not reveal the
interesting information. I doubt we will learn anything from
this, but it is possible.
pps: to gnats-admin (dholland I presume) - this PR ought to be
moved out of port-i386 to somewhere more rational...
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